Introduction to Soft Signage in the world of digital textile printing
The market of soft signage is evolving at a rapid pace, the demand for custom designs on a large scale has been increasing over the years, ‘Soft signage’ relates to signage on fabrics or flexible woven materials. Printed digital soft signage can create a high-quality impression. Fabric is lightweight and flexible, washable, fold-able and can last longer. There are a number of soft substrates that can be used for signage, as more diverse fabric options develop for sublimation applications. Polyester, Lycra, spandex, Dacron, poplin and other poly-based fabrics are easily imprinted with sublimation dyes and offer unique properties for specific sign applications. Soft substrates are finally making their mark in the world of wide format printing. Soft Substrate is increasingly popular in retail environments especially, soft signage is proving a niche well worth exploring for wide format printers and marketers who want to stay ahead of the large format game.
The use of soft signage is evolving to encompass range of applications, including trade show graphics, backlit displays, retail store decor elements, as well as flags and banners. Digital textile printing, particularly for soft signage applications, provides an attractive service opportunity for sign printers that are looking to expand their offerings and increase their clientele. Sublimation applications for soft signage tend to run toward larger substrates, as fabric makes the most visual impact when there is a lot of surface area shown.
Banners, flags and stretched fabric displays all offer different advantages for a variety of different types of customers. Colleges, malls, convention centers, museums, government buildings, corporate headquarters, fitness centers, restaurants and more can all use pop-up fabric signs, wall hangings and flags, pole or rally banners to draw attention to lots of things.
Some textiles, such as polyester, match vinyl for outdoor durability in extreme weather, and some are even better than PVC substrates that can erode in cold conditions and stretch in hot temperatures. It is hard to find a media applicable to the signage market that offers this level versatility and ease of use.
The advantages of soft signage
The reasons for soft signage’s breakthrough success is twofold. On the one hand it is driven by technological advancements in the fields of printers and textile substrates, on the other hand customer demand simply increased. Apparently, once technological innovations made soft signage became more attainable, the advantages it brought to both manufacturers and the end user started to speak for themselves:
Fabric is one of the most vivid, elegant options for indoor & outdoor display. Print colourful logos, messages and images on fabric for use as wall graphics, fine art prints, exhibit graphics, stage and photo backdrops, point of purchase displays, banners, flags, awnings and so much more.
Fabric is a great alternative for interior banners because:
- Seamless look: The flexibility of fabric takes graphics to the edge.
- Rich color: Vibrant hues make a memorable impression.
- Lightweight: Weighs 75% less than vinyl.
- Easy to ship: Folds up to fit in small packages and arrives wrinkle-free.
- Washable: Many fabrics are machine washable and durable.
- Convenient: Simple to carry, install and transport.
- Sophisticated: Looks smooth, elegant and professional.
- Biodegradable: No harmful effect during disposition.
- Reusable: Glare Free & Wrinkle Free.
- Professional touch: Looks high-end & elegant.
The ability to print directly onto a substrate with dye-sublimation is proving to the one of the best methods for soft signage. Because the ink is directly dispersed on the signage material, the end result is a much more saturated fabric. This penetration is not a bad thing—ink penetration in signage fabrics enables the printed image to show through on both sides of the material. This is particularly useful for applications that require two-sided viewing, such as flags. The increased ink penetration and saturation is also helpful for many backlit displays and large banners because there is less of a chance for the printed image to show imperfections when stretched.
Epson SureColor SC-F9330 dye sublimation printer is the fast printing solution for clothes, textiles, soft signage products and more. The F 9330 uses Epson’s newly developed precision dot technology for dye sublimation printing, which includes a halftone module and lookup tables, resulting in a visibly superior print quality. Thus, the SureColor SC-F9300 allows services to achieve better results with minimal effort. The wide CMYK input profile by Epson combined with the UltraChrome DS ink ensures an impressive spectrum of colours for an accurate reproduction of even the most complex designs.
Let’s talk about the speed, SureColor SC-F9330 comes with a print speed of up to approx. 108 m²/h. Additionally, improved paper handling as well as other functions ensuring reliability prevent problems such as print media rippling or print head failure. The SureColor SC-F9330 has been also awarded an Oeko-Tex Passport certification and has passed Japan’s AZO test for household products. This means that clothing and textiles produced with the printer and using UltraChrome DS ink are safe to wear for adults and children, including babies.
DCC also offer DGI Fabrijet FT 3204X Large format Sublimation Printer for Mass Production. Fabrijet FT 3204X is a 3.2m wide format dye sublimation printer having 8 printheads printing at maximum speed of 250m2/h. Enhanced with dual roll system, capable to print two rolls of 1.6m at same time. Best suited solution for home textile and large format soft signage applications.
Get professional look for flexible, functional and fabulous signs and visual graphics
DCC ensure you get right printing technology for Dye sublimation and direct-to-fabric printing. Create digitally printed fabric signs and visual graphics that have vibrant color, smooth gradations and rich black that results in sharp & brilliant images.